19 July 2017

News Report: India Expanding Infrastructure Along China Border Amid Standoff

In spite of the continuing standoff with China at the Sikkim border, India is busy at work building infrastructure in the states that border China.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — India is expanding infrastructure and road construction not only along the China border but also aiming to take it to the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told Parliament today.

"Seventy-three road construction projects are underway along the Indo-China border, including stretches in Sikkim. Thirty of these roads have been completed," Rijiju said.

"Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has accorded general approval under Section (2) of Forest Conservation Act 1980 for diversion of forest land for construction and widening of border roads falling within 100 km aerial distance from Line of Actual Control," Rijiju said.

In fact, the border states have formed a high-level committee to resolve the environmental and land acquisition concerns to speed up infrastructure projects along India-China border. "Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir have set up empowered committees to sort out issues related to land acquisition, forest/wildlife clearance, allotment of queries etc," he said.

"India has been expanding its infrastructure in the bordering north-eastern states for some time as China has built all-weather roads along its bordering areas. In fact, in view of the standoff, India is speeding its infrastructure projects along the India-China border which will serve as a deterrent and, in times of need, India can send additional forces quickly," strategic expert Uday Bhaskar told Sputnik. 

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.